Some of you may remember last September when I sent an article out for submission. Well, it was rejected. I got the notice today. It was the first article I've ever sent out, so I didn't really expect it to be accepted.
But then, about a month ago, I received this message from the managing editor:
We have now received one positive report on your submission, and the second reader has been reminded that we were expecting a report on 5th January; the mid-winter holiday break always causes delays. The editor will go over the reports as soon as possible after the second report arrives, and we plan to send you a decision letter by the end of the first week of February at the very latest. Apologies again for this delay, and we truly appreciate your patience.
The whole idea of "positive report" sounded very, well, positive, and I started to get my hopes up just a little bit. I hadn't heard back by last Friday, so this morning, I contacted the editor, and they posted the results: rejected. Apparently, the second reader did not think the article was very good at all.
The upside is that I now have quite a bit of useful (if not somewhat depressing) feedback. For now, I'm trying to focus on the mostly good report and allow myself to be bolstered by it, but it's very easy to ruminate on the bad report and tell myself that "zie's right, zie's right, I know zie's right." The negative review made quite a few remarks about recent scholarship that I've overlooked, omitted, etc. I am a part-time student at a UK university, but I live and work in California. I'm several hours from any really good libraries, and I rarely get to talk to anyone about my specialty. I feel quite isolated in my work, and I think that isolation was evident in my article.
So. Now. I must go on. But it's hard. This has been a tough week. As I reported over at Dame Eleanor's Writing Group, it's been a hard week at work. My college is in the midst of a serious crisis, one that requires I be roped into all kinds of panic-mode work groups and task forces. I was at a steering committee meeting today, and the voice inside my head was saying, "I can't do all of this, people! I don't care if the college is falling apart! I want my life to be about me! I want to focus on me! I feel guilty about neglecting my family! I'm tired of giving so much to the college! My scholarship sucks, and I have no idea how I will ever finish my dissertation!"
And, really, I don't know how I will finish. I know that I must. And I suppose that, eventually, I will. But the reviewer comments confirmed some fears that I have about my work. Plus, already, I feel as if there is no way for me to read all that I need to read, and now I feel that way even more. And then there is the writing . . .
Add to all of this the fact that I'm up until nearly midnight several nights a week doing my prepping and grading (because the days are filled with classes and committee work). And I work quite a few hours every weekend--and not on the dissertation.
I just don't know how I will do it. Last week, I blew off my "mindful inflexibility" hour on Tuesday so that I could get some prep work finished instead. Maybe that neglect (combined with my article rejection) is why I feel like such shite.
Sorry to unload like this. I know that many of you have been in the same boat that I'm in. But right now that boat is making me sea sick. Why, oh why, did I decide to take this voyage? Right now, it's hard to remember.